Miami Indian Tribe

The Miamis were called Twightwees by the Early English writers. They were sometimes spoken of as the Crane people. Little Turtle, their chief, replied when asked the bounds of his country by “Mad” Anthony; “My forefather kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he extended his line to the headwaters of the Scioto; from thence to its mouth; from thence to the mouth of the Wabash; and from thence to Chicago, on Lake Michigan. These are the boundaries within which the prints of my ancestors’ houses are everywhere to be seen.”

The Miamis were an important tribe in the Ohio Valley, where they bore a part in all the border wars. They are of the Algonquian stock and have the social organization of that family. There are ten clans in the tribe:

  1. Wolf.
  2. Loon.
  3. Eagle.
  4. Buzzard.
  5. Panther.
  6. Turkey.
  7. Raccoon.
  8. Snow.
  9. Sun.
  10. Water.

By the time of general treaty-making to divest the Indians of their land east of the Mississippi, the Miamis were mostly in Indiana. By the treaties of 1839 and 1841 they were possessed of a reservation adjoining the State of Missouri, immediately north of the land of the New York Indians, south of the country of the Weas, and east of the Pottawatomies. Miami County was made from a portion of this reservation. They arrived and began a settlement on Sugar Creek in 1846. By the end of 1847 there were eleven hundred of them on their reservation, but half of them died the following year. Many of them returned to their old homes east of the Mississippi. The remainder moved to the Marais des Cygnes, in the south part of Miami County, where they established what was called Miami Village. The Baptists and Catholics had missions among the Miamis in Kansas.

The Miami reservation contained about five hundred thousand acres. The land was as good as can be found in Kansas. The land-stealers soon came to demand it. A treaty was concluded June 5, 1854, by which the reservation was sold to the United States for two hundred thousand dollars. There was excepted a tract containing seventy-two thousand acres. This tract was later secured by the  white settlers by the usual methods in use for getting possession of Indian land. In 1871 the Miamis removed to a reservation on the Spring River, in what is now Oklahoma.

Additional Miami History


6 thoughts on “Miami Indian Tribe”

  1. Can anyone tell me who was Chief White Wolf, was he Robert Cole? Was Shumaka his mother and Roscoe Cole his father? I know he was born around 1774 to 1798. I believe he is my 6th / 7th Gen. Great Grandfather. My Father was Florian James White from Minnesota 1/4 Miamian. My name is Lyle w. Boldt Thank you for your help.

    1. Chief White Wolf is my 5th Great Grandfather. Robert Cole was not raised by him. Chief White Wolf married Robert Cole’s sister, Elizabeth. Robert Cole was kidnapped by the Shawnee Indians and lived amongst the Miami Tribe. Robert White, Sr. is Chief White Wolf’s son. Robert Cole and Robert White, Sr. are not the same people. Chief White Wolf was born in 1748, so he was only 17 when Robert Cole was kidnapped.
      History of Miami County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests, Volume 1.
      Paragraph from page 35:
      Godfroy’s father was a Frenchman and the French largely predominated in his character, his mother was a Miami woman and he always claimed to belong to that tribe. His first wife Sac-a-che-quah, the daughter of a white man name Cole, who was captured when a child in Kentucky by the Shawnees, grew up among the Indians and acted as interpreter at the treaty of Greenville in 1795. His Sister (Elizabeth) became the wife of Chief Whitewolf. I have copied a couple of books that actually reference what I have said. People keep misinterpreting and have incorrect information.
      Source: History of Miami County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its principal interest. Volume 1.
      The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York – 1914
      Author: Arthur L. Bodurtha
      Book: History of Miami County, Indiana, A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests – Arthur Lawrence Bodurtha
      Book: History of Jay County, Indiana, Including Its World War Record and Incorporating the Montgomery History

      1. Thanks for the information.. i have seen Betsy White Wolf appear in my family tree research. I think she was his daughter.

  2. Hello Marissa:
    I Have come to the concussion that we are related thru our Great Grandfather (Robert Chief Whitewolf Sr) born in 1748 and married Elizabeth Cole. They are my 7th generation grandparents. They had a child by the name of (Robert White) JR born 1790 and married Sarah Ann Dickson, he changed the name to just White, They had (David L White)born 1829, married Jamima Jane Widner, then (James D White born1874,m married Florence Belle Hughes), Them (Adam G White born 1906, married Emilia A Oppek), my father (Florian J White born 1930) And mother (Joyce L Baklund) then me (Lyle W Boldt born 1947) I was adopted by my step father.

    The information that I am look for is on Chief Whitewolf, father of Robert Whitewolf Sr, born in 1728 in Indiana – 1832 in Kansas. If you can help me in any way it would be greatly appreciated.
    Lyle W Boldt, 290 S. Indian Town Rd, Shawboro NC 27973

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